Real Clowns Are Real Mad About That ‘It’ Trailer
Clowns — that is, real-life clowns — are upset with the trailer for It, the upcoming Stephen King film adaptation about a killer clown terrorizing a group of kids in Maine.
"It’s gonna be bad for clowns," one professional clown told Mel Magazine.
"It's ruining our business," said another.
That may seem a bit premature, considering the movie doesn't even come out until September, but it's not hard to see what's got them so fired up. If you were a cab driver and a movie trailer about an evil, murderous cabbie became the most popular trailer ever -- as It's trailer did, garnering nearly 200 million views in its first 24 hours -- you might worry for your professional future, too.
Pop culture hasn't been particularly kind to clowns over the years. Let's take a look at a few examples:
- In 1982, Poltergeist featured a toy clown that attacks a little boy and drags him screaming under the bed:
- The scene was so memorable, it even made it into the 2015 remake.
- In 2014 the movie Clown featured a dad who puts on a clown suit that turns out to be a sentient demon determined to bond permanently with its wearer.
- We can't forget the 1988 cult classic Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and we don't need to explain why a movie with a title like that isn't exactly the kind of publicity the clown community desires.
- FX's hit horror series American Horror Story's fourth season, called Freak Show, featured a disgraced former clown called Twisty who kidnapped and murdered children.
And it's not just movies and TV. There was that epidemic of creepy clowns appearing all over the country and then spreading to the whole world last year. (It even has its own Wikipedia page, called "2016 clown sightings.")
One of the clowns Mel interviewed, Nick "Mr. Nick" Kane, even referred specifically to that. “We just experienced a nice break from the scary-clown meme from last October," Kane said. "And just when things are starting to normalize, the It trailer comes and it’s like, ‘Here we go again.’”
Infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, in between butchering 33 people, liked to dress up as Pogo the Clown before he was executed in 1994. (This may have been the inspiration for AHS's Twisty -- Gacy appeared as a character in the fifth season, dressed as a clown and portrayed by the same actor who played Twisty.)
All told, it hasn't been a particularly good couple of decades for actual clowns. This certainly isn't It's fault, though if the movie is anywhere near as big a hit as the trailer, that could mean even more misery for people in the floppy-shoes/fluffy-collar/red-nose industry.
"It’s a dying profession," laments 42-year-old Guilford Adams, who has performed as a clown named "Gilly" for 20 years. "And the people who do it and scrape together a living have to grapple with the fact that it’s cool and hip not to like clowns. The ultimate prick in this [It movie] is that it’s going to turn young consumers away from an art form that’s sweet and nice and not about the Kardashians and Minecraft."
Wait, so heroic clowns just want to save us from the evil Kardashians? Sounds like a great idea for a movie!